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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

When the sky falls and the tide engulfs.


"I feel like a bad person. Like I'm not good enough." - Billy Crawford
Everyone who has ever been in Billy's shoes at one point of their lives will automatically be able to get his message. His words, "I'm lost" and "I need to find myself again" are classic words of someone undergoing a crisis of direction, of identity, of purpose - more popularly known in modern psychology as a life crisis.

How does it feel like?

It's hell on earth. And there's nothing funny nor poetic about the utter and overwhelming sense of confusion, of the lack of direction that engulfs people undergoing this phase of life. I use the word "engulf' because at times, it really feels like drowning alive, of suffocating in one's gigantic self-doubts and fears. It feels like being a stone on the seashore, helpless against the constant battering of the waves. Billy himself expressed it in two haunting words - "Save me."

There's nothing illusory about these feelings. It is easy enough to say, "Just think positive. It's all in the mind." But the mind, at this point in time, seems to have a will of its own. The person is at the mercy of his own thoughts. And it is so hard to just keep a cheerful disposition in the face of quite numbing darkness, of a deep unexplainable sense of unhappiness, of dissatisfaction in the face of blessings, of inexplicably feeling lost even while you are in the company of your dearest and closest friends and loved ones. It feels like the craziest, most illogical thing. The person feels exposed yet misunderstood; and so very vulnerable that is why it is easy to feel so defensive.

Sometimes, all it takes is time, and peace and quite to reflect on what could be missing. Sometimes it is basically about just a search for purpose, a search for passion that can bring back the joy and adventure of living, a search for the answer to "What do I really want to do with the remaining days of my life?"

Depression could be treated as if its a disease but not this kind. A life crisis is more of a spiritual ailment - the search for a plug big enough to fill the God-shaped hole that is within. It is a journey to self-rediscovery. Like most great adventures, it is perilous. The constant questioning and the tumult of emotions can literally drive a person over the edge. Don't let the smiles fool you. If you look closely enough, you may not even find the real person there because he's gone somewhere deep inside to find his lost self.

And being someone who cares, what do you do?

Nothing much really. You are left to wait. You are left to pray. You are left to just stay close and let that person feel that no matter how long the journey, you will be there to cheer him on and welcome him back upon his return. Because yes, only those who lose their way can truly have a homecoming. The question is, how to know when one has already, truly come home?

I personally have no answer for that yet. You see, I myself am still in the journey.

August Bernadette 


kaigachi is a conjugation of the Japanese term "kigaicha" or crazy. It roughly translates as "crazy about something."

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious." - C.Jung

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